Teaching teamwork and problem solving concurrently

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Teamwork and problem-solving skills have frequently been identified by business leaders as being key competencies; thus, teaching methods such as problem-based learning and team-based learning have been developed. However, the focus of these methods has been on teaching one skill or the other. A key argument for teaching the skills concurrently is that the ability to solve an unstructured real-world problem within teams is what is needed outside the classroom and that this requires the use of both sets of skills simultaneously. Thus, the authors describe the design and implementation of a group problem-solving skills course for undergraduates, in which they engage in real creative problem-solving work together over a semester while learning and developing skills appropriate to their current stages in the team development and problem-solving processes. This method offers the potential to address criticisms by business leaders that new graduates often are technically proficient yet ill prepared to solve everyday organizational problems.

Publisher's Statement

© 2008 Organizational Behavior Teaching Society. Publisher’s version of record: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1052562907310739

Publication Title

Journal of Management Education